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Highlighting Cultures, Civilizations, and Diversity In Historical Civil Engineering Achievements
The rich history of Civil Engineering provides insight into diverse cultures throughout history yet is typically absent from non-technical humanities curricula. Like most of the schools, the core curriculum of Virginia Military Institute (VMI) requires an undergraduate student to take two civilization and cultures courses (designated with the suffix “X”) and two writing-intensive courses (designated with the suffix “W”). These courses are offered by various academic departments and may not be STEM-based or technical in content. They do, however, support the ABET Criterion 5(c) to have a “broad education component that complements the technical content of the (engineering) curriculum…” (1). Appropriately, this course will be listed as a humanities course, not as an engineering technical elective. While there are sufficient WX courses available at VMI, no course broadly discusses the historical advancements of civil engineering (CE)’s various sub-disciplines in a non-technical way with student research and writing requirements. This work endeavors to fill this gap by developing an inspiring CE WX course which discusses the contributions of diverse cultures in world-wide civil engineering achievements. This paper identifies the approach and rationale to educate and engage students through case studies and historical turning points in civil engineering. Weaponry and military advancement in infrastructures are envisioned as a part of this course also to foster interest and feedback among students from other academic majors. For 1st and 2nd year CE students bringing credit into the program from high schools/community colleges, this course will be especially beneficial and help them identify their preferences for the various CE sub-disciplines earlier in their academic experience.
Reference 1 https://www.abet.org/accreditation/accreditation-criteria/criteria-for-accrediting-engineering-programs-2021-2022/